This creamy cauliflower cheese soup recipe is full of flavour and topped with tasty homemade croutons. The soup combines a base of cauliflower, celery, onions, carrots and veggie broth with a traditional and cheese based cream sauce resulting in a very hearty cauliflower soup.
These fresh baked croutons are really tasty and a great way to actually use up day-old bread. I used sourdough in this recipe but you can use any rustic kind bread. I also sprayed the olive oil right onto the bread cubes directly onto the cookie sheet and then sprinkled all the spices, but you can also just toss all the ingredients into a bowl to make sure they are well coated. These croutons toast up really quickly and are great when added right from the oven to the bowls of fresh soup. I broiled them but could also bake them at around 425 degrees and that would work just as well.
If you want to get a little fancy – sprinkle the soup and croutons with a bit of parsley – and serve as a hearty lunch or dinner. If you have extra it also freezes really well for future meals.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Croutons
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 whole head cauliflower broken in to florets
- 2 bay leaves
- freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 or 3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 3 slices sourdough or ciabatta bread cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- fresh grated pepper and salt to taste
- In a large sauce pan pour in olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots and continue stirring until softened for about 5 minutes.
- Once the veg has softened up a bit pour in the vegetable broth, add bay leaves, and cauliflower. Season with salt and ground pepper and stir into veg mixture. Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- In a separate pot melt butter and add in flour to whisk until smoothly blended. Add mustard and hot sauce (if using) and continue whisking until evenly blended. Pour milk gradually into pot and continue whisking until mixture starts to thicken.
- Fold in the grated cheese and whisk until melted.
- Remove bay leaves from the vegetable mixture. If you want to keep some chunky veg in your finished soup, set aside about 1 or 2 cups in a separate bowl.
- Roll in the cheese sauce into veg mixture, stir, and then blend with a hand blender until smooth. You can also use a regular blender but need to do in batches as it will be really hot and a bit hard to manage if you did all at once. I personally prefer the hand blender.
- Pour the veg set aside into the blended soup and stir to blend. The soup is now ready to serve and to be topped with croutons.
- Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Spread bread evenly on sheet and spray or toss evenly with olive oil.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley and toss until evenly coated. Pop under the broiler and toast until golden brown. You will want to flip them a couple times to be sure they are browned on all sides.
- Once finished toasting remove from oven and add as topping for soup. You can optionally sprinkle with parsley for a final garnish.